A Service-Learning Trip
In Sally Eden’s “Out of the Comfort Zone” student’s essays emphasize how being pushed out of their comfort zone forced them to be more proactive, tackle unfamiliar activities, and develop emotionally. It emphasizes the importance of higher education institutions supporting work-based learning outside of the classroom. Likewise, in Brian Starks “Outside the Comfort Zone of the Classroom” he describes a style of learning that takes students out of their comfort zone, and into the real world. It explains how experiences impacted the student’s education, as well as their lives. He hopes to influence teachers to re-think their way of teaching by understanding the importance of service.
Michelle Regalla’s study focused on teachers. She examines the impact of a service-learning trip to Costa Rica for teachers at a small, liberal arts university. Three trips were taken over the summer semesters from 2010 to 2013. The trips were all organized and conducted by the same faculty member. There were a total of 28 teachers, 22 of them enrolled in a Master’s of Arts in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (MATESOL) program and the other 6 were enrolled in other education programs, including English and elementary education, at either the graduate or undergraduate level. The data includes the teacher’s responses to writing prompts, field notes, and follow-up questions. One shared, “I don’t speak much Spanish so it was uncomfortable being in a room with my host family and not being able to communicate much. But then I remembered that I came on this trip because I needed to get out of my comfort zone!”
How it works
In the nursing field, a third-year student recounts an experience that helped her realize her potential and gain confidence. She no longer hides behind senior members or staff, or stays away from any new challenges. Now she embraces them. She said “ Working within my limitations as a student, I recognize my boundaries as well as my capabilities, meaning I was able to deliver safe and effective patient care.” Val Freestone, a nurse for the elder said, “Don’t be frightened to step out of your comfort zone and make a change. It’s about stretching your networks – thinking, ‘Do I need to stay where I am or could I still offer a career to somebody?’ It’s never too late.” “Lilly is the reason I became a nurse,’ Freestone says. ‘She screamed, shouted, punched and bit, all because she was scared. She didn’t know what was going on. But if you could get past that you got such a huge reward because then you could get her to speak to you and respond to reassurance. She’s the reason I do what I do.” She shared this in Daniel Allen’s “Stepping out of the Comfort Zone.”